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Things to do in Grenada

Tropical Rainforest Landscape Nutmeg Grenada Coast and Waves

Courtesy this job, I have been to Grenada quite a few times in the last few years. It’s generally just to Grand Anse, and usually not enough to time to do more than the hotel (cue sigh about the supposed glamour of a job-with-travel). Due to the number of visits, however, I do have a few ideas. Grenada is probably my next favourite island after T&T. Or it alternates with Dominica (who would not love a country that is tiny yet still 2/3 uninhabitable because of gorgeous rain forested mountain?). And occasionally sentimentality about the 2.5 years (over a 12 year period) lived in Barbados.

But no. Back to the point. I decided the last time that Grenada was my favourite other Caribbean island. Decisions are helpful to know how you feel. Try it. It’s life-changing.

Grenada is a small island with rainforest and natural features like waterfalls and volcanic crater lakes, the expected gorgeous Caribbean beach and coastal views, narrow winding and steep little roads right in town and through the rainforest, and gorgeous colour everywhere. It is the Spice Isle, being the source of great things like the nutmeg pictured above, which I picked up from nder a tree just growing on the side of a road…incredible. Because of this, it is also the source of the incredibly delicious treat called nutmeg ice cream. Which, when done well, is like the richest, creamiest eggnog-y ice cream. Oh so good. On my first trip to Grenada, my aunt packed me up with 2 large  containers of this island specialty to take to Trinidad (just before the days of liquid restrictions on hand luggage), which I dutifully dropped off with her sister (my mother) and continued my travels. Upon my return a mere week later, there was NONE left. Nary a drop. It was that good.

Houses above the CarenageWhile Grenada may seem like a typical Caribbean island there are a few features that are worth noting. One of the iconic views of Grenada is of the Carenage. The Carenage is the inner harbour in downtown St. George’s surrounded by hills and colourful houses and buildings picturesquely crammed onto those hills. It reminds me somewhat of the harbour towns in the Highlands and the Hebridean Islands. Obviously much warmer :-) The Carenage is a bustling transportation and shopping hub, with markets and duty free shopping, and is always busy. And yes, the blues are that blue. I did no colour-tweaking at all on the most recent photos (new Sigma 50mm f2.8 lens has been great!).

Grand Anse BayThen there’s Grand Anse – there on the right. Home of many hotels and shopping around this gorgeous bay, it’s where I usually stay. Convenient because of the malls, supermarket and restaurants (and dentists, which I needed the last time) with easy access to that lovely beach. The view on the right is from the Flamboyant Hotel, which is up the hill the bay, giving you spectacular views.

Annandale FallsThere is more than just the beach to Grenada, however. In the Grand Etang Rainforest Reserve you’ll see lush rainforest (naturally), waterfalls, crater lakes and more. Annandale Falls is a pretty waterfall in the midst of tropical foliage. There’s a little area you can swim in, and people do jump although that may not be advisable… The Falls are in the Grand Etang Rainforest but very accessible from the road – a short walk past vendors and over a sulphur-laden stream. There is another waterfall people visit, but I have not yet been.

Of course, you don’t have to leave your hotel to experience wildlife. In Grand Anse in particular, they come to you…crabs. Big and small. Red crabs dot the roadways, coming out of every little hole in the dirt by the drains and ditches. Better yet, big ones suddenly appear in the night in the hotel as you walk to your room!

If you’re not partial to crabs in their live form, then head up to the Gouyave Fish Friday Festival (pronounced Gwah-v). Snapper and BakesEvery Friday, the people in this little coastal town come out in the narrow streets and set up tents, stoves, grills etc and serve up seafood and local delicacies every where you look. It’s a bit of a drive from Grand Anse (taxi can cost about EC$200-220 round-trip) but it’s worth it if you go hungry and ready to try out everything. You can have all kinds of seafood obviously – fried, steamed or grilled fish, served with breadfruit, or fried bakes or chips. Crab backs. Coconut fried shrimp. Fish cakes. Nutmeg Ice Cream. Fresh Juices. Lots of different vendors to try different hands. The photo on the right is snapper wrapped in foil with onions and peppers and seasoning and cooked on a grill. Served with fried bakes. You may not always find a place to sit, but stick around people will have to get up and move eventually.

More formal dining is available of course. You can visit my  Eating Out: Grenada set on Flickr for views of food at The Beach House, Coconut Beach, Flamboyant and Le Chatueau. I highly recommend the Beach House – it’s an open building right on the beach and their food is excellent.

Belmont Estate building Flowers like peacock feathers Lovely shade of purple

One of the popular tourist sites in Grenada is the agro-tourism of the Belmont Estate, which is a 17th century plantation where you can see their cocoa processing, organic farm, lovely gardens and dine at their restaurant. I can’t speak to the restaurant, since when I visited it was Ramadan and while my colleagues enjoyed lunch, I sat in the gardens and tried out my new lens on the lovely flowers and greenery. But I did see the cocoa laid out to dry, and a fruit stand with the estate’s produce.

Leapers Hill MonumentLeapers’ Hill or Le Morne De Sauteurs is located in the northern part of the island where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean, and was named so by the French settlers after the indigenous Carib Amerindians, were defeated by the French for possesion of the island. Rather than facing submission to the French, the last few remaining Caribs jumped off the high cliff that is now called Leapers’ Hill. There’s a monument on the hill on the cemetary, from where you can get some nice views of Kick-em Jenny (a still active volcano off the coast of Grenada). The Information Centre is closed on Sundays, so take note.

Grenada Chocolate Company - 70%Lots of things are closed on Sundays actually… like the Grenada Chocolate Company. Home to that lovely Organic Dark Chocolate in the pretty packaging. Sigh. If you’re headed to Grenada, make sure to schedule a visit on one of the other 6 days of the week.

There are many more photos in my Grenada set on Flickr.

I hope you enjoyed this little visit to Grenada, one of T&T’s closest neighbours. I realise I have been failing on the travel elements of this blog, so why not catch up so that I start 2010 on a good note!

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10 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. I agree with you, I like Grenada. My husband and I honeymooned in Carriacou, which we love. The artisanal products in Grenada are a great find-I also like the soaps-I forgot the brand, but they have vetiver, coconut, nutmeg etc. The Grenada nutmeg ice cream is also nice.

    1. Nicole on December 29th, 2009 at 1:33 pm
  2. Gorgeous pictures Chennete. My bags are packed. Seriously I love Grenada. I have some pumpkin vine family there and an Aunt who lives in Carriacou. You’ve brought back some serious memories and reminded me that I need to blog my nutmeg ice-cream recipe. Also I need to get my hand on these products La Grenade Liqueur and Morne Délice Nutmeg Syrup….

    3. Wizzythestick on December 30th, 2009 at 9:32 pm
  3. Yuh mean I forget the nutmeg syrup?? And I have such a nice picture too – will do an edit, as nutmeg syrup is something I buy EVERY time I pass through Grenada.

    4. Chennette on December 30th, 2009 at 10:51 pm
  4. wish you a happy, healthy, tasty 2010, dear chennette.

    5. bee on January 1st, 2010 at 1:22 am
  5. I love Grenada! Your pics make me want to visit. It has been a few years since my last visit. I have a very good friend that lives in Gouyave and she makes a wicked fried jacks and oil-down!

    Happy New Year!

    6. Cynthia on January 3rd, 2010 at 5:27 pm
  6. WOW!!! Amazing photos!!!

    I have never been to Grenada and my only excuse is “??”

    7. aka_lol on January 5th, 2010 at 9:22 pm
  7. bee thanks much! Happy 2010 to you and Jai too.

    Cynthia If your friend lives in Gouyave, I am sure she is an excellent Grenadian cook :-)

    Thanks Aka! This was the first time I really paid attention to the new lens, back in September, using it exclusively for the 10 days I was in Grenada. Was very hard to take the old kit lens to Kaieteur last week :-)

    I have not been online much as I am at home in Trinidad, where I now have a new nephew born on New Year’s day!

    8. Chennette on January 6th, 2010 at 12:37 am
  8. Happy New Year, Chennette!

    Lovely article. I worked in Grenada for a short while and always regretted that I didn’t get to explore the island properly. My apartment was at the top of a building on a hill overlooking the Carenage – near the Catholic and Anglican churches – with a view of miles of Grand Anse Beach. That was the best part of being there for me. I also enjoyed being serenaded by the church bells striking the hours, and soon got used to it. Walking down the steep Market Road to the newspaper office where I spent my days – and many nights – was perilous in my heels, so I found an alternative route down several flights of stairs connecting roads on two levels…

    When I left the job I spent a quiet week at a hotel on Grand Anse and walked on the beach every afternoon. This post brought back good memories of Grenada that I wasn’t aware I had!

    9. Liane on January 6th, 2010 at 12:13 pm
  9. Grenada – Its definately on the list!

    10. Tamarind Ball on January 12th, 2010 at 1:07 pm
  10. Wow! I never thought Grenada would be such a nice destination for a vacation. Wish to spent this years vacation there

    11. mark on January 24th, 2010 at 7:11 am

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  1. […] Lifespan of a Chennette gives a comprehensive virtual tour of the Spice Isle, Grenada. Cancel this reply […]

  2. […] was in spite of the dire warnings they got in Grenada about Trinidad…(tsk tsk, and Grenada is my favourite non-home Caribbean country too…) My friends even made it from Long Circular Mall to West Mall by MAXI-TAXI on their own […]

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